Sometimes all it takes is a spark, and that’s what Majesty Acheampong hopes to provide for women content creators of Charlotte with the 2nd annual Ignite Your Influence, a summit designed to inspire, influence and elevate women of Charlotte looking to take their brands to the next level.
Last year, Acheampong said she was just testing the waters to see if the demand was truly there. With this being the second iteration of the summit, she added a few things to make the event more interactive, she said.
The event kicks off on Saturday night with a cocktail hour, featuring free hair products from Cantu and samples of Jim Beam’s new peach-flavored whiskey. For the main event, things will move to a different venue with more space. To set the tone for the day, a holistic wellness expert will help the ladies get in a positive mindset to open and receive all of the gems headed their way. A neo soul band will perform during lunch, then choreographer Ana Obegueze will lead a “Let’s Move” segment to help everyone burn off that grogginess.
As far as speakers and subjects to be addressed during the actual summit, Acheampong has a full roster ready to drop knowledge. Brittany Hennessy is an author and industry leader who will teach the attendees about “Securing the Bag” and understanding their value with brand deals. Hennessy has experience in brand-budgeting and training creators to get their full worth. Mattie James will help the ladies learn how to not just create but maintain their influence. Brands really do seek women of color, James said, but it’s important for those brands to understand those women’s full value, as well for those women to understand how to pitch and sell. James’ segment is titled, “Dear Black Girl, Why Your Influence Matters Now.”
Valerie Eguavoen is a lawyer, social justice advocate and creative consultant whose focus is on diversity and inclusion in the creative industry. She will share how to use your influence to make a difference in activism. Last but not least, Acheampong herself will host a fireside chat with multifaceted educator and creator Lola Akinkuowo and brand influencer Kish Burries. These ladies will discuss the challenges of starting a brand and beginning life as an entrepreneur.
Acheampong began in 2012 as an online boutique owner. After spending time and money paying models to promote her pieces, she realized she could save money by modeling the items herself. That experience birthed Born Majestic, a fashion and beauty blog that eventually led to Acheampong securing brand deals. It started with her posting and tagging national brands on social media, which led to more brands sending her free products and bigger brand deals. And that’s how it happens.
With Acheampong’s experience, it only makes sense for Majesty to then create a way to help other women do the same, if not more. And that’s how the idea for Ignite Your Influence came about.
In 2017, Acheampong searched for local workshops and conferences for creators of color. Her experience has showed her that the industry approach has to be different for women creators of color. She was looking for a coach and a guide to help elevate her personal brand and when there was no one available nearby, she took her search to Atlanta.
Acheampong said Charlotte has the demand but there is no one here providing the help. So why wouldn’t she be the pioneer? Why wouldn’t she create something for Charlotte similar to Blavity’s 21Ninety women’s summit? Since starting her journey, she has been overwhelmed with love and support, she said. Even though Inspire Your Influence was created for Charlotte, women travel from neighboring cities and states to attend. Acheampong has also seen a lot of support from national brands who are major sponsors, including Urban Skin Rx, Dunkin Donuts and Walmart!
With the countdown of the second Ignite Your Influence coming down to the wire, Acheampong said she is feeling a bit nervous and anxious, but fully prepared. Plans for IYI began in October with securing the venue and choosing her keynote speakers. Tickets are still available online and registrations will be taken until the day of the event. If you just so happen to miss the online sales, walk-in registrations will also be available.
Acheampong said she would like for Ignite Your Influence attendees to walk away feeling inspired. For those who are local, she especially wants you to make sure you have the local tools for success. All in all, it is her hope that everyone feels connected and that a sisterhood is developed. And that’s how it happens.